"Last night was a fucking disaster," Harry's eyes are focused on his busted hand as he buttons his jeans.
"Yeah," I sigh, trying to avoid any further conversation that revolves around my parents.
"Let's go," he grabs his keys and phone from the dresser and shoves them into his pockets. He pushes his wet hair back off of his forehead and opens the bedroom door. "Well?" He impatiently remarks a few moments later. What happened to the playful Harry from only minutes ago? If his bad mood continues this way then I suspect that today will be just as bad as yesterday.
Without a word, I follow him through the door and down the hallway. The bathroom door is closed and the water is on. "Did you tell him we are leaving?" I quietly ask. I don't want to wait for my father to get out of the shower but I don't want to leave without telling him where we are going and making sure he doesn't need anything. What does he do in this apartment while he's alone? Does he think about drugs all day? Does he have people over? I shake the second thought from my head, Harry would find out and my father sure as heck wouldn't still be here if that were the case.
"Yes," his response is short, showing his growing irritation.
Harry stays quiet during the drive to his father's house. The only assurance that today isn't a total wash is his hand resting on my upper thigh while he focuses on the road.
Harry, as always, doesn't knock on the door of his father's house before walking inside. The sweet smell of syrup fills the house and we follow the scent to the kitchen. Karen is standing next to the oven, a spatula is one hand and the other is being waved through the air in conversation. An unfamiliar young woman is seated at one of the island stools. Her long brown hair is the only thing I see until she turns the stool around when Karen's attention is directed toward us.
"Tessa, Harry!!" Karen nearly shrieks with joy and she carefully drops the utensil onto the counter before rushing over to wrap her arms around me. "It's been so long!" She says, holding me at arms length and then crushing me back to her body. Her warm welcome is exactly what I needed after last night.
"It's only been three weeks, Karen." Harry rudely remarks. Her smile dims a fraction and she tucks her hair behind her ear.
"What are you making?" I distract her from her stepson's sour attitude and peer around her to the counter covered in baked goods.
"Maple cookies, maple cupcakes, maple squares, and maple muffins," Karen pulls me gently to follow her and Harry cowers in the corner, a deep scowl set on his face. I ignore him.
I look at the young woman again, unsure how to introduce myself. "Oh!" Karen takes notice, "I'm sorry, I should have introduced you first thing," she waves her hand to the woman. "This is Sophia, her parents live just down the road." The woman smiles and reaches to shake my hand.
"Nice to meet you," she smiles. She's beautiful, very beautiful. Her eyes are bright and her smile warm, she's older than me but she can't be any older than twenty-five.
"I'm Tessa, Liam's friend." I introduce myself. Harry coughs behind me, obviously displeased at my choice of words for my introduction. I assume she knows Liam and since Harry and I are.. well whatever we are, it seemed easier to introduce myself as Liam's friend.
"I haven't gotten to meet Liam yet," Sophia tells me. Her voice is soft and sweet, I immediately like her.
"Oh?" I assumed she knows him since her family lives down the road.
"Sophia has just graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in New York," Karen brags for her and Sophia smiles. I don't blame her, if I had graduated from the best culinary school in the country, I would let people brag for me too.